New Theory of Flight

· flying, theory of flight

The New Theory of Flight which I have developed together with Johan Hoffman and Johan Jansson, has now been submitted to AIAA together with a supporting article about the completely crucial issue of separation in slightly viscous flow, as a further elaboration with more computational support of the articles

The new theory is supported by solid mathematics, fluid dynamics, computation and experimental observation and will be hard to refute. Yet this is what AIAA will have to do to maintain credibility.

In particular AIAA will have to somehow handle the confession made by by J. Hoffren in Quest for an Improved Explanation of Lift, AIAA, 2001:

  • The basic physical principles tend to be buried and replaced by mystical jargon.
  • Classical explanations for the generation of lift do not make the essence of the subject clear, relying heavily on cryptical terminology and theorems from mathematics.
  • Many classical texts even appear to have a fundamental error in their underlying assumptions.
  • Although the subject of lift is old, it is felt that a satisfactory general but easily understandable explanation for the phenomenon (of lift), is still lacking, and consequently there is a genuine need for one.

It will be interesting to see how AIAA will argue. Let us list some options:

  1. The New Theory is not needed because there is already an old Accepted Theory which works fine, even if it is not fully correct in every little detail.
  2. The New Theory is the same as the old Accepted Theory.
  3. The New Theory is interesting, but sufficient support is lacking.
  4. The New Theory is not suitable for the readers of AIAA, because it is too mathematical.
  5. The New Theory is not of sufficient interest (argument used by Science and Nature in 2009).
  6. The computations supporting the New  Theory do not use any of the accepted turbulence models.
  7. The computational method of adaptive finite elements with automatic error control has not been validated against standard codes without error control.
  8. There are already many theories of flight which are all wrong, and so the it is likely that the New Theory is just another incorrect theory.
  9. It is known to be necessary to computationally resolve thin boundary layers, which is impossible, and so the New Theory based on a slip boundary condition without boundary layers cannot work, even if computation give excellent agreement with experimental observation.
  10. Lift and drag originate from thin boundary layers, and so agreement with observation of computation without boundary layers, must be purely accidental.
The reception of the New Theory by AIAA will be reported when available. The interested reader is also invited to browse the upcoming book The Secret of Flight supported by a web site with the same name.


Comments RSS
  1. Richard T. Fowler

    To Johnson, Hoffman, and Jansson,

    Sounds like stong work, and a good argument presented on this page.

    Now if you can just solve the problem of the TSA, you will perhaps have removed the last major impediment to enjoyable flight. And you may get a very large airport named after you, somewhere.


  2. Michele

    I attach a link to a NASA publication of 1966 on the subject.


    Click to access 19670003842_1967003842.pdf

    It may be useful.

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